The contract was for Rs. 15 lakh, half the money was paid to killers

Bangalore police cracked the murder of Lingaraju, RTI activist from Chamarajpet, and arrested the husband of the local councillor here Thursday.

C. Govindaraju, a real estate dealer married to Chamarajpet councillor Gowramma, allegedly gave a Rs. 15 lakh contract to the killers who hacked Lingaraju to death on November 20 while filling drinking water from a public tap near his home.

The police said Govindaraju was incensed that his friend-turned-foe Lingaraju was instrumental in the Lokayukta raid on his premises on November 9. The activist had lodged a complaint with the Lokayukta about the couple’s unaccounted for riches after obtaining documents under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The raid had led to the discovery of assets amounting to at least Rs. 14 crore accumulated by Councillor Gowramma and Govindaraju.

Angered by the humiliation, police said, Govindaraju hired Velu (41), Chandra, (32), and Shankara, (32) and offered Rs.15 lakh to eliminate Lingaraju. The three men, along with their associates Umashankar (45), Rangaswamy (23), Raghavendra (23) and Shankara (23), hacked to death Lingaraju last Tuesday even as his horror-struck wife Umadevi witnessed the brutality from her first floor home.

Police investigation led to Govindaraju, particularly as Lingaraju’s family described the numerous threat calls he had made to his former friend.

Other angles, if any

Police Commissioner B.G. Jyothi Prakash Mirji said though preliminary investigations point to the motive as anger over the Lokayukta raid, the police are also looking for other angles, if any.

The police said only half the contract money was paid. Govindaraju had given an advance of Rs. 2.5 lakh to the killers and paid another Rs. 5 lakh after the job was done.

Mr. Mirji said the gang of eight was been arrested and Rs. 3 lakh, given to them by Govindaraju as supari, recovered. Also seized were an autorickshaw and an SUV used for the crime.

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